Morphologic Mapping of the Sublingual Microcirculation in Healthy Volunteers

Göksel Güven, Zühre Uz, Matthias P. Hilty, Burak Bilecenoǧlu, Šakir Akin, Yasin Ince, Can Ince*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Monitoring the sublingual and oral microcirculation (SM-OM) using hand-held vital microscopes (HVMs) has provided valuable insight into the (patho)physiology of diseases. However, the microvascular anatomy in a healthy population has not been adequately described yet. Methods: Incident dark field-based HVM imaging was used to visualize the SM-OM. First, the SM was divided into four different fields; Field-a (between incisors-lingua), Field-b (between the canine-first premolar-lingua), Field-c (between the first-second premolar-lingua), Field-d (between the second molar-wisdom teeth-lingua). Second, we investigated the buccal area, lower and upper lip. Total/functional vessel density (TVD/FCD), focus depth (FD), small vessel mean diameters (SVMDs), and capillary tortuosity score (CTS) were compared between the areas. Results: Fifteen volunteers with a mean age of 29 ± 6 years were enrolled. No statistical difference was found between the sublingual fields in terms of TVD (p = 0.30), FCD (p = 0.38), and FD (p = 0.09). SVMD was similar in Field-a, Field-b, and Field-c (p = 0.20-0.30), and larger in Field-d (p < 0.01, p = 0.015). The CTS of the buccal area was higher than in the lips. Conclusion: The sublingual area has a homogenous distribution in TVD, FCD, FD, and SVMD. This study can be a description of the normal microvascular anatomy for future researches regarding microcirculatory assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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